Who put the target on my back today?



Minding my own business, I step out onto the front porch this morning. There is a man in the front side yard cutting down my hedge. “Sir, Sir,” I called as I ran to him. “This is my yard!” He immediately starts to apologize. He said he didn’t know. I am remarkably calm, considering how I dote on my garden. “I hope I don’t cry,” I tell him. “Please don’t cry,” he says in a worried tone. “I didn’t know!” I assure him I knew he didn’t know. There is a landlord next door that only has her grass cut whenever her renters complain. The hedge is not uniform and never has been; but now it is just chopped hither and thither. The other yard man comes out and I tell them I know she makes their job harder by waiting until it is out of control to call them. This is a new team. We talk. They are very kind. It all ends well-until I go inside. I am hemming some curtains, pinning them up first. My eyes start to leak. I don’t out-and-out cry, but this is the second time, no the third time my art work, and yes my yard is a living art display, has been attacked by outsiders. First the neighbor on the other side is opposing our spraying for mosquitos. We have been spraying for many years now. She is allergic to everything. We have tried our best to accommodate her many restrictions. My only problem is mosquitos. They love my particular blood type. I get huge welts from the bites, so we spray. She has never complained before until about a month ago. Then about two weeks ago, my own husband starts whacking on the shrubs at the back of the property. They are wonderful privacy shrubs. I out and out cry when he actually starts chopping down one of the trees he said he was going to trim. It is now gone, leaf, trunk, root, all gone.

All I’ve ever done is work my hardest to create a lovely garden for all to enjoy. I don’t limit or dictate what other people do with their yards. I simply tend lovingly to mine. Why was my hard work attacked … from all sides? I have no answers, only questions!

This afternoon, I called to finalize payment for two sofas I had purchased. Not getting my particular salesperson, the man on the phone asks if he can help. Well, I tell him, I’m ready to pay the balance and arrange for delivery. He asks for the order number. I was never given one. He asks for my phone number. He says that is not in the system. He gives an address that is not mine and a name that is not mine. He laughs and says my furniture will be delivered to the wrong address. I say I’ve paid over seven hundred dollars down. He laughs again. I say, I’m not laughing. He says he could help me if I had the order number and that he can’t hear me anyway. Then … then … he hangs up on me! I am speechless. I sit there looking at the phone, again wondering what in the world just happened! I call back and ask for the manager. They can’t find him. I say, that’s fine, I’ll be there in person in just a few minutes. I arrive and my original salesman and the manager hear my story. They are very apologetic and thank me for being so kind and understanding considering what happened. I pay my balance; we make delivery arrangements; I stop off at the grocery store for a pint of ice cream to celebrate surviving this day!

Dear Lord, You know how often I have really messed up and made things so much worse than they needed to be. Not this time. I was the wronged party, but except for the brief weepy bit, I handled today calmly and as peacefully as possible.

What was I to learn from this? How other people can be hard to get along with; how bad situations can be diffused; how ice cream can make anything sweeter?

It all worked out. I don’t know how to straighten out the half chopped hedge, but I am creative, I will think of something. The furniture will arrive in two days. The back area I spent days re-working and re-shaping those privacy shrubs, they are remarkably improved. The neighbor with the allergies will have to deal with my one mosquito problem. I am allowed that, especially since I am spraying in my yard not hers.

I hope tomorrow will be easier. I think I had enough today and in the last few weeks to last the summer. Yes, this all may seem minor. But not to me. I read something this morning in my devotion that said You put a desire for perfection in our hearts, Lord, so that we would seek You. I certainly have a large dose of perfectionism. I am intense. I create intensely. I seek You, Dear Lord, with an extra special intensity. Help me find peace; I am unsettled by the changes around me; I survived the loss of my four family members; I think I can survive what has been going on recently; please let me feel some stability; I need roots that will hold me steady; I need You. Don’t just take my hand, I need a hug.  Thank You, Dear Heavenly Father; Your child needs comforting. Amen



Psalm 116:1-2  Living Bible
I love the Lord because he hears my prayers and answers them. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!


Psalm 30:5  God’s Word Translation
His anger lasts only a moment.
His favor lasts a lifetime.
Weeping may last for the night, but there is a song of joy in the morning.


Isaiah 40:1  International Children’s Bible 
Your God says, “Comfort, comfort my people.


Isaiah 49:13  The Message 
Heavens, raise the roof! Earth, wake the dead!
Mountains, send up cheers!
God has comforted his people.
He has tenderly nursed his beaten-up, beaten-down people.



Here’s a sweet hymn I’ve never heard before.


Come Closer to Me
Barney E. Warren, pub.1900


When I get weary with toils of the day,
Off in the secret I kneel and pray;
There I can hear my Lord sweetly say,
“Come closer, my child, to me.”


Closer, my child, to me,
Closer, my child, to me;
Closer, my child, to me,
Come closer, come closer,
Closer, my child, to me.


When all around in this cold, dark land
Nothing encourages me to stand,
Jesus says, holding me by the hand,
“Come closer, my child, to me.”    Refrain
When in afflictions I suffer long,
Jesus comes bringing this lovely song:
“Trust in my grace, and you shall be strong,
“Come closer, my child, to me.”    Refrain
When I am meeting with trials severe,
When I am parting with loved ones here,
Looking to Jesus, His voice I can hear:
“Come closer, my child, to me.”    Refrain




having always the same form, manner, or degree :  not varying or variable : consistent in conduct or opinion :  of the same form with others :  conforming to one rule or mode :

4 thoughts on “Who put the target on my back today?”

  1. Jan, fortunately the bull’s-eye was not as big as the size of your heart. This is very well written piece and shows you have a lot of patience. It’s always nice to know you have a fallback position, someone you can turn to .

  2. Jan

    Hope you take no offense by what I am about to say, but this is just an observation about how things like you experienced today, have happened to me before…

    Yesterday you posted this:

    I’m looking for Heaven’s peace and fellowship. I have heard a description of Heaven; I’m not sure who said it so I can’t give them credit; but I like it and it’s enough to comfort me … Heaven is Life EverLaughing !

    Perhaps, you drew the bulls eye on your own back? You were wondering what the gate to heaven might look like? Well, maybe it looks like someone cutting down your bushes or giving you a hard time about your furniture? God has done that to me before. I would ask to be closer or something else, and all of a sudden something unexpected would happen. Most of the time I would miss my chance by reacting wrongly. It’s just human nature, BUT sometimes I’d get it right and react correctly. Wow! I’d find myself experiencing exactly what I asked for – just not in the way I thought it should have happened.

    I love your quote, but if heaven is ever-laughing, why were you crying? Maybe I should say it this way. What if something bad happened in Heaven? Would heaven be finished? Would it come crashing down? Or is it heaven because no matter what we lose or experience here or anywhere, we will always have the Love of God to fill us with joy?

    James 1:2-4
    New International Version (NIV)

    Trials and Temptations

    2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.


    Tomorrow, please bless Jan with another opportunity to open heaven’s gate, to walk inside and see for herself the wonder of heaven. May it change her for evermore. May it fill her with a vision and a mission that will ultimately make the things of this world seem of very little importance except what is done for You. Keep her well, keep her safe, keep Your hand upon her heart and You favor all around her. May it all come to pass in the name of Jesus, the perfect king. Amen.

  3. Bless you, Mel. I’m not sure I have much patience … but … I guess I’m learning to stretch the amount of patience I do have. : ) Didn’t you love the hymn ?? It said exactly what I was feeling. : )

  4. Wow, thank you for your wise message. I get so much from writing my conversations with God and sharing them with others. I didn’t see that what I asked for appeared the very next day. I see what you’re saying. Thank you for the prayer … so very sweet and appreciated. Bless you for the time you took in trying to help me. God bless you and keep you safe and protected. You definitely have a mission here on Earth. Again, thank you so much. Jan

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